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Graduate Education In Construction Management: Success On Line

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

New Trends in Graduate Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.654.1 - 14.654.13



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Paper Authors


Daphene Koch Purdue University

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Daphene Cyr Koch, PhD, Is an assistant professor in the Building Construction Management Department in the College of Technology at Purdue University. She has over 8 years of teaching experience and over 10 years of industry experience specializing in industrial and mechanical construction.

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Orczyk Joseph Purdue University

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Joseph Orczyk, PhD is an associate professor and coordinator for graduate students in the Building Construction Management Department in the College of Technology at Purdue University. He has many years of industry and teaching experience that is integrated into the teaching environment.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


This paper will describe the use of videoconferencing software to present synchronous distance learning graduate classes in a construction management department at a Purdue university. Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional allows the faculty to use a hybrid synchronous, interactive delivery model for this department’s masters program. Synchronous distance education connects students and professors in real-time. It allows the student to be seen and to be heard, as well as to see and hear what is going on at the host site. This delivery model is a hybrid because there are also students physically attending the class at the host site. Not only can the students attend class at home or at work, but the student can also attend classes while traveling. The paper will outline the technology, curriculum, and development of this online master’s program.


Distance learning is expanding in all areas of higher education.1 Computer technology has allowed to expand beyond the early attempts at distance education done via correspondence watching pre-taped lectures or live television courses to real time, online web-based courses. It is now possible for anyone to acquire educational materials from anywhere in the world. Research exists to show minimal differences in the effectiveness of online learning as compared to the brick and mortar / face-to-face traditional learning. 2, 3 Factors that were major in determining the need for online programs have been indentified as convenience, access, and flexibility.4, 5 In the construction industry, persons currently working can not afford to leave their jobs to become a full time student. Also, there are few companies that give incentives for completing a master’s degree in the construction management.

History of the Program

The Department of Building Construction Management (BCM) in the College of Technology (CoT) at Purdue University grew from a craft-oriented, non-degree program that was initiated in 1946 to re-train the returning GI's. The nature of this program slowly shifted from post-war, non- academic teaching of construction craft skills to academic teaching of drafting and surveying skills through the 1950s.6 It now is considered one of the leading programs for producing construction managers educated with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. It was first accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) in 1976 and has passed all accreditation visits since that date. With the undergraduate degree being the basis for the department, graduate course have been introduced since the 1990’s to follow the needs of the industry.

Back in the late 1980’s, the BCM faculty began planning for a construction management masters degree. At that time only the Industrial Technology (IT) Department had a master’s degree program in the CoT. Also, at this time the former BCM department head went on a six month sabbatical and interviewed BCM alumni around the country on the topic of the BCM masters degree. Beginning with the Spring 1990 semester one construction management course was

Koch, D., & Joseph, O. (2009, June), Graduate Education In Construction Management: Success On Line Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5852

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